Restoran Malaysia (Richmond Hill)

Location: Richmond Hill, Canada
Address: 815 Major Mackenzie Drive East
Type of Meal: Dinner

You may be unimpressed when you drive into the plaza where the restaurant is located – it’s tiny and a tad dated.  But, once you make it into Restoran Malaysia you’ll be surprised to see how spacious it is.  However, even though this place is large enough to seat what seems like 100 people; they are always busy whenever I go.
As you enter, you’re greeted by a large laughing Buddha statute and the wonderful essence of spices.  Large dark wooden tables, rectangular and circular, fill both sides of the restaurants.  The entire interior is decorated with dark wooden walls and large structured light fixtures.  Even the decor hints at the warm comfort foods to come.

Given it was bitterly cold outside, we decide to warm up with some tom yum goong soup ($5) to start.  I know what you’re thinking – isn’t this from Thailand?  Well, according to Wikipedia, in countries like Malaysia, that are close to Thailand, they use “tom yum” to describe any spicy soup.  And indeed the soup had some kick to it.  The broth was good and well flavoured; I would say just the right amount of spice as it wasn’t overly hot.  For those who are accustomed to the Thailand version, this is more tomato based and has less lemon grass in it.  It’s good, but not as good as the spring rolls or satay skewer appetizers that I’ve had previously.  So, if you’re only going to come once, I suggest sticking with those instead.

Tom yum goong (1)
In the mood for more spice, we ordered the chicken red curry ($12) with a side of steamed rice ($1.50) and two roti ($4).  When you come here you have to order the roti!  These thin, chewy, toasted sheets of slightly sweet home made roti are served warm and are perfect for dipping into Restoran Malaysia’s curries.  I love them so much I frankly could wrap noodles in there and still eat them.  At $2 a sheet you can order as many as you want for the table - I find one per person is usually enough if you also have other carbs.
Home-made roti (2)

Their menu has two curry sections: “Home Made Roti Canai / Prata” and “Entrees”.  The curries in the “Home Made Roti Canai / Prata” section is a smaller portion of yellow curry that’s not as spicy – a good option for those who may not love curry but want to try it with the roti.  I prefer the curries in the “Entrees” area as they are fierier and I like the vegetables that are mixed in with them.  The red curry we ordered (2 chillies) was the perfect spiciness for my palette.

To balance out the heat, we ordered Kuala Lumpur style hockien mee ($10).  Thick chewy noodles are stir fried with lot of oyster sauce (?) and seafood and vegetables.  The dish is slightly sweet and is a good contrast to the rest of our choices.  If you’ve ever had Shanghai fried noodles, this dish is similar, except the noodles are thicker and covered with more sauce.
Kuala Lumpur style hockien mee (3)

Two dishes we didn’t order this time, but are my tried and true favourites include:

  1. Nasi goring ($10), an Indonesian style fried rice that has a hint of spiciness mixed throughout.  The rice is topped with a fried egg, which adds a lovely silkiness when it’s broken and the yolk oozes out to coat the rice.  A handful of crispy shrimp chips also accompany the rice and are more flavourful then the ones you typically find at Chinese restaurants.
  2. Nasi goring
  3. Penang char kuay teow ($10) or black peppered beef kuay teow ($12), both are stir fried flat rice noodles except the first has shrimp and the second shrimp and beef.  The noodles have an amazing essence (or what the Chinese would call “wok hay”) and also a hint of spice.
Penang char kuay teow (4)

The service can be a hit or miss in this restaurant.  The problem is they are just so busy!  Even so, the staff generally come at the right times – to take you order, bring you the food and give you the bill.  You may find it a little slow to get a refill on your water, which could be a problem for those who can’t handle the spiciness!

 Overall mark - 9 out of 10

Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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Photo Sources:
  1. Tom yum goong - Bon Eats (
  2. Roti - Sifu Renka (
  3. Kuala Lumpur style hockien mee - TKOlive's Photostream (
  4. Penang char kuay teow - Sifu Renka (